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A `Neural Sampling Theory (NST)' of learning and memory mechanisms

Authors
Journal
Biosystems
0303-2647
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
44
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0303-2647(97)00055-5
Keywords
  • Learning And Memory
  • Noise
  • Parallelism
  • Redundancy
  • Sampling Processes
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Neuron Assembly
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology

Abstract

Abstract The purpose of the Neural Sampling Theory (NST) is to propose a plausible neurobiological explanation for some general properties of learning and memory (LM) phenomena, based on the parallelism and redundancy of the nervous system organization; on the psychological side, the NST is inspired by the Stimulus Sampling and Encoding Variability theories. The sampling process which is its core, is not purely random; it depends on temporal and intensity factors. The NST may be implemented at different levels of the nervous system: synapse, neuron, assembly of neurons. Moreover, it may be incorporated in other formal models and improve their degree of neural realism. For instance it allows to give a more realistic representation of the connection weight in the connectionist models and of the noisy character of the nervous system.

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